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The More Moms Earn, The More Housework They’re Expected to Do?

By September 7, 2022August 2nd, 2023Women's Rights

Moms have a reputation for being superwomen. That means nurturing, cooking, cleaning, cheering, chauffeuring, role-modeling, homeworking, shopping, nursing, hugging, consoling, guiding and protecting. Often, Moms are also wives.

Now add to that breadwinning. Today, in a sweeping 40 percent of U.S. households, doing it all also means wearing the pants in the family. (Shh, not too loud.) Things have changed. In 40 percent of American families today, Mom brings home the biggest slab of bacon – on top of everything else. Yet on average mom makes 58 cents to a white man’s $1 in 2022, and it may take her the better part of this year to catch up to dad’s wage last year. Hang on, there’s more.

Mom’s Equal Pay Day is September 8th this year, symbolizing the date in 2022 when U.S. mothers’ earnings finally reach their male counterparts’ earnings in 2021.

Let that sit.

But, wait a minute. Didn’t we already celebrate Women’s Equality Day on March 15? Yeah, we did.In fact, depending on your lineage, skin tone and/or sexual orientation, a mom’s equality day may take all the way up until December, since each of seven identified sociological groups has varying cents-to-dollar ratios.

This year (2022) is the first year since 2015 that women’s earnings have not steadily moved toward matching white men’s – coming as close as 7 cents before the pandemic struck in February 2020. The pandemic meant that moms couldn’t be as certain about juggling work and home. Many unknowns and variables, including school and office shutdowns, illness, shuttering, masking and quarantining preceded two years of flying by the seat of the pants they had now donned.

Note: Among “gender controlled” environments, with college education, job title, job responsibilities, experience and years worked being equal or similar for men and women, the wage gap is much tighter. But here we are talking about the millions of working moms who do not fall into a controlled gender environment.

  • Average Women – Woman’s Equality Day: March 15. White women (referred to as “average women”) are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to white men, down from 83 cents in 2021.
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day: May 3. Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • LGBTQIA+ Equal Pay Awareness Day: June 15. Without enough data to make calculations, this day heightens awareness of the unspecified wage gap experienced by LGBTQIA+ workers.
  • Moms’ Equal Pay Day is September 8. Moms are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men. (One source suggests 75 cents.)
  • Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 21. That’s 79 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • Alaskan and Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30. That’s 71 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • Latina’s Equal Pay Day is December 8. That’s 78 cents for every dollar paid to white men, alarmingly a larger gap than last year.

Gender Uncontrolled Wages.

In “gender uncontrolled” workplaces, especially during the pandemic, employers could claim mothers were unreliable workers in a time of such personal instability. Unequal pay, based on any number of discriminating factors, became a slap not only in mom’s face (as the mother and gatekeeper) but also her children’s and their father’s. The overall wage gap between moms and dads is currently between $15-$30k per year, well exceeding $1 million over the course of her career.

There is still unequal distribution of domestic labor in many families, but a recent study establishes that new mothers assume more housekeeping duties than fathers – [and] even more so if they make more money than the father! This is only the case when mothers out-earn fathers, contrary to childless women out-earning their husbands. “So parenthood seems to have that traditionalizing effect,” said UK professor Joanna Syrda.

“Men have very high stress levels when they are the only breadwinner, understandably, and lowest when their wife brings in around 40 percent of the household income. Because, importantly, it is less than half.”

Joanna Syrda Washington Post

Is this some kind of misogynistic joke meant to keep mothers in their place to compensate for the fact that fathers are/were traditionally supposed to be boss and breadwinner? No, fellas. It’s so funny we forgot to laugh.

What You Can Do Now:

  • It is imperative that we continue clamoring for the Equal Rights Amendment to be finally, officially enforced as law, and dispense with any form of wage gap segregation. A million bucks goes a long way and it’s only a matter of the national archivist (appointed, not elected) certifying the 28th amendment in the U.S. Constitution. The filibuster is being used to block it in the Senate.
  • Polls consistently show that a strong majority of those polled think the U.S. Constitution already guarantees equal rights to males and females (80% of those polled in the 2016 survey and 70% of those polled in the 2022 one).
  • Today, before the November midterms, contact your lawmakers, either/both parties, at the state and federal level via email, phone, letter or peaceful protest. Equal rights are becoming slack again because of Covid’s impact. We can’t let up, especially not now.